Google is both one of the largest sites on the web, generating humongous page views each day, a good percentage of which are monetized with profitable paid listings. It is also the fastest-growing ad network, agressively doing deals with both large portals and with targeted niche sites, such as iVillage.
Back in the day, DoubleClick did a good business serving ads for clients via DART, and also running demographically and thematically targeted networks on which they served clients’ ads.
Both companies found ways to encircle the market and make money from related–but diverse–revenue streams.
DoubleClick foundered on the Abacus deal, which raised privacy concerns(that would be an understatement), and on the declining–okay, plummeting, online ad market.
As the money keeps pouring it, is is going to be interesting to see whether the Google engineers, including the founders, lose their focus on search as the dollars gets bigger. Some say it is already happening. I think not.
But where there is smoke, there will eventually be fire. Keeping a big, profitable company aligned with the mission can be tough, especially when some of the earliest employees start to focus on enjoying their wealth and move their eyes off the product and customer experience. Google’s biggest challenges will be to continue to provide unique, valueable services core to their mission at the same time as they grow in value and make the business pay out.